One month ago today my husband died. Died. And I am overwhelmed with grief.
I never thought it would be like this for me. My husband would always tell me he was going to die first because I was the stronger of the two of us. He was wrong because I’ve discovered I’m not strong at all.
Over the past ten days I was in Florida. I had to go there to pick up my husband’s van that we left there when I left suddenly to come home to be with him. John had flown home early to have a CT Scan done on his kidneys and to get a head start on tax season. My son-in-law and grandson was with me in Florida and we were all going to leave at the same time. After my husband was gone for just a couple of days I felt I had to come home to be with him. He wasn’t complaining of being ill or anything, I just wanted to be with him so I flew home and left his van in Florida.
Laura, my granddaughter Emily and her friend Cassie accompanied me on this trip. Laura worked hard at trying to make me have fun. We went out for dinner at places that my husband and I went to to make new memories. People would see the photos and comment how good I looked. But inside I felt numb, forcing myself to smile. I was afraid (and still am) for people to touch me. I don’t want anyone to touch me anymore because the pain is so close to the surface that I’m afraid if they touch me I’ll break down. I alternate between feeling totally numb to crying and then feeling panic building inside of me. I can’t believe I still have tears left inside of me.
I actually felt good walking into the condo that John and I owned. We decorated it together and we loved it there. It felt good to be there and I felt close to John. I felt I would be ok there because there are several people there that have lost their spouse (the joy of being in an over 55 community). When I went to the pool the three people that I thought would give me words of wisdom and comfort surprised me with what they said to me. The two ladies told me that the pain never goes away and I’ll hold it until the day I die. I had expected them to tell me it would lessen over time and I’d be able to go on. I went to see a good friend that lives downstrairs from me and I told her what they said and how surprised I was at their answer. She looked at me (she’s 76 and lost the love of her life many years ago and remarried 25 years ago) and she said, “honey, they are the first people that are being honest with you.”
I now understand why some long term couples die days apart. My heart actually hurts at times. I think of John and the pain in my chest is intense. I can’t breathe. I feel like I have to go somewhere but I can’t figure out where to go. I realize that I want to be where John is and that is not possible. My focus right now is to get everything in order for my kids for when I die. I want everything laid out for them so they know where to go and what to do when it is my time to die. It will take some time I believe John left this for me to do so it would give me some purpose to go on.
Month one over .. Verdict … I barely survived. I don’t know how I will go on without John. I’m not sure how to live with my heart gone.